September 18, 2010
Nan’s story in brief was in the November 1995 press article. The rest of the story is that we met in the summer of 1994 at a local restaurant that I visited on a regular basis. In December we were invited to the restaurant Christmas party.
I happened to get there before my wife, so Nan and I were just talking and I asked her where she worked. By this time I knew that she was a nurse. She told and asked why I wanted to know. I told her that I did research and I was always interested in my reachability. She asked what kind of research and I told her I found missing people, she said like adoptions? I said I had done a few adoptions in the past.
She said, did someone tell you I was adopted, I said no. Well I was said Nan. She then asked would it be possible to find my birth mother. I asked what she knew about her adoption. She said, I was born January 18, 1945 and put up for adoption on the black market. I said that is what they told kids back at that time, however, the system actually does have a process.
She said while growing up whenever she was bad, her adopted mother would tell her that she would return her to those people (the black market people). So I said to her, that means your birthday is next month, you’ll be 50. She said yes. I said let me get past the holidays and I will take a look around to see if this can be done.
I found a paper trail and looked into her story. Strange as it was, her mother had married a man from Waltham, Massachusetts, two streets over from where my grandfather lived in 1945. I followed the trail through two different states and it ended in Camden Maine. There I found the death in 1982 of the man her mother had married a year after giving her up for adoption. The problem was no phone listing.
On January 11, 1995 I stopped off at restaurant and ran into a few people that told me Nan had been asking if I had been around. They said she was having a birthday party next week and had invited a number of people and had been looking for my wife and I. A short time later, in came Nan. She came over and asked that Sal and I join her for her birthday. I said we would.
After a second drink I leaned over and Asked if she wanted her mother to join her party. She stopped and looked at me and I said I know where she was in 1982, and I think she is still there in Maine. Out came her checkbbok and wrote out a check. Then she asked if I would deliver a letter to her birth mother. I said I would.
Time would pass and in May of 1995 Nan brought up the letter again. I told her at that time it would be the end of June before I could make that trip. On June 30, 1995, a Friday night, Sal and I left for Camden Maine. We stayed in Rockland, the next town over from Camden and on Saturday morning I spent an hour in the Camden public library looking for the death notice of Mr. Goodwin. Then I went to the address of 1982, a small apartment complex.
The few people I spoke with did not know of Louise Goodwin, by 5:00 PM Saturday I spoke with the owner of the property. She remembered Louise Goodwin and said she had moved to Rockland, the next town over. I said she must have an unlisted phone number because I could not find it.
She did remember a family that had helped her move a few years back. She gave me a name and I got a phone number and called. The woman that answered asked why I was looking for Ms. Goodwin. I explained that I was a genealogist, you know family tree stuff. She said I would need to talk to her husband and he was not due home until 10:00 PM.
At 10:00 PM I called and her husband was home, he said what is it that you do?? Again I said I am a genealogist, you know family tree research. He said well you know it is late, I said I will call her at 9:15 AM tomorrow (Sunday morning), he said ok and gave me her unlisted number. I thanked him and figured he would be calling her earlier than me.
At 9:15 AM when I started to dial the number, my wife went and hid in the bathroom, she said I make her nervous when I do these things. I called and Ms. Goodwin answered and I told her who I was and she said I don’t understand why someone would be doing her husbands genealogy, he died in 1982.
I said well actually I am doing yours and January 18 1945.. A second later Louise said, oh my, your calling about my little girl that my father made me give up, I said I am. She said, I have been waiting for this call all my life, you must come right over. I said, well that could be a problem, I did get your unlisted phone number, you need to give me your address which she did.
I told her that I had two photo albums for her to look through, those I have to return and lettter that belongs to you. We agreed to meet at 11:00 AM. We did and she looked through the albums and read the letter. Then she said, you know God works in strange ways. I asked how so and she said that she prayed everyday that some day she would know what happened to her little girl.
She said I kept at it, I just figured he didn’t hear me. Well that has certainly changed because here you are. I learned that she has two daughters and a son and that her husband had been pasted away in 1982. We talked a bit and I asked what she would like to do from here. She said you have my phone number and now my address, please give them to my daughter. I told her I would take care of that on my return to Marshfield.
When I left with albums in hand I called Nan and got her answering machine, so I left a message and a phone number. Sal and I took our time going home so we arrived after 8:00 PM. No message from Nan so I called her. She answered and I asked about my message and she said what message, I’ve been out fishing all day. I told about my message and visit. She asked lots of questions and said she would make her call and get back to me.
On Monday night Juky 3rd she called to tell me she had spokeb with Louise and would like to catch up on WednesdayPM. I said sure and she said that tomorrow morning the 4th of July she was going to Rockland Maine. On Wednesday evening we met and I heard the rest of the story.
She and her mother met for lunch and they went to Camden. After lunch they were sitting at the top of the hill by the library I had visited the past Saturday. While talking Louise pointed to a set of swings at the bottom of the hill and said to Nan, see those swings down there. your father and I used to sit here for hours watching the kids ( the two daughter and son ) play there. Nan stopped short and said my father? Louise said oh yes, a year after I gave you up, I moved out of my fathers house and married your father. Now she knew that her sisters and brother , were her true sisters and brother.
I received a Christmas card from Louise until she passed away.